Some shrimp make plasma with their claws. Now a 3-D printed claw can too


snapping shrimp
OH SNAP! Snapping shrimp slam their claws shut, producing bubbles that generate plasma and unleash shock waves at prey. Scientists have now reproduced this phenomenon using a 3-D printed claw replica.

Some shrimp have a secret superpower: Snapping their claws unleashes bubbles that produce plasma and shock waves to stun prey. Now a 3-D printed replica claw has reproduced the phenomenon in the lab, scientists report March 15 in Science Advances.

When a snapping shrimp (Alpheus formosus and related species) slams its powerful claw shut, it spews a jet of water. That fast-moving stream creates a bubble, which then collapses on itself. The collapse produces extreme pressures and temperatures that reach thousands of degrees Celsius,…

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